I enjoy helping students connect with the joy of learning. Every student learns differently. The goal is to make a connection between what the student already cares about and to see how it can support their deeper interests and dreams. Once students begin to see that knowledge gives them power, it is easy to keep them motivated. I am a screenwriter, award winning filmmaker and published author of a book called "Love Hawaii Time."
I am experienced in TV and film writing, improvisational comedy and sketch writing. I coach students in public speaking, broadcast performance, acting and how to develop more personal charisma.
I have a BS in Humanities from Thomas Edison, a Masters in Communication from Greenwich University, a Masters in Creative Writing and Screenwriting from National University and a PhD in Pastoral Counseling Psychology from the University of Sedona.
I enjoy working with animals, volunteering at the shelter, and I train dogs to become therapy and companion animals. I really enjoy helping students to experience the delights of using their imaginations in creative writing. Last year I was awarded the President's Volunteer Service award for my work with military families.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Thomas Edison State College - Bachelors, Humanities
Graduate Degree: National University - Masters, Creative Writing - Fine Arts - Screenwriting
Working with animals, movies, screenwriting.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
By making a connection between what they care about, are interested or passionate about -- and show them how this can connect to the educational goals.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
First, it is really important to correctly identify what is the exact stumbling block. Sometimes it is a word or concept that isn't clear or doesn't connect for them. If an early step is missing, it will make the building blocks of learning harder. This requires both patience, compassion and asking the right questions.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
First, correctly identify where the problem occurs; is it when they read but not when they listen? Are there vision problems, such as needing reading glasses? Is it the content? Does it happen after a certain amount of time? Ask the student to put it in their own words, and see which parts are missing. Encourage them by showing how much they did comprehend.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Taking a few minutes to build rapport saves hours and makes the relationship much more productive. Teaching is a relationship and needs to be nurtured through deep listening, not lecturing. Most students want to learn, if they can see what's in it for them. Listen to their answers carefully when they talk about what they like to do, what they want to be when they grow up, and what they really care about.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
Explain that struggling is part of learning. It doesn't mean they are doing it wrong. Everyone struggles with something, the issue is to not give up. I would go back to their WHY are they learning. What will they be able to do if they succeed? I would connect the dots to their deeper dreams.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
I would explain that with all my students I ask them to repeat as if they were teaching it to me. That way I can verify if I DID A GOOD JOB teaching. I explain that it is not to test them - but to see if I covered all the bases. I explain that teaching someone else (I) is the best way to own the material.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
I ask a student to be the teacher. To pretend I know nothing. How would they teach me? The student learns from teaching me how much they already know, and I reinforce that idea.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
One way is to ask. They often know what they need. The second, of course, is to observe. To see where they get stuck and where they need more reinforcement. Then you can point out that repetition is an important part of learning strategy.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
Some students are more visual, or auditory or kinesthetic learners. I do my best to adjust for those preferences. I also make sure that the student is with me at each step, rather than barreling ahead. It is better to really learn a little bit, raise confidence, and then add a little more, than to "data dump" with information overload.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
I have a variety of learning toys, balls, objects to hold in the hands, puppets, creative writing, and imagination. It depends on the student. I have to see what will work best for each student, but I have a treasure box that I use.
What is your teaching philosophy?
Everyone learns differently. There is no "one size fits all" for teaching. It starts with a basic respect for the student. Then I want to find a connection between what the students cares about and what needs to be learned.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
Spend a few minutes building rapport by talking to the student about what they like to do for fun, or what they are most interested in, and what they want to be when they grow up. The time you take to really listen to the answers will save you more time later, because you can connect the dots between what they care about and what they need to learn.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
Find out what they like to do. Do they like to go online to research? Do they like to make things? Create things? Come up with something they like to do and apply it to what they need to learn. Also, have them teach me. It builds their confidence and ownership of the material they have learned.